2024 Freedom Fund Banquet

Join us for Arlington's biggest civil rights & social justice event of the year!

More details Fall 2024

Last year's theme was...

NAACP: Never Silenced!

NAACP Arlington Branch will continue to advocate, agitate, and litigate until we achieve equity, political rights, and social inclusion for all.

2023 Keynote Address

Symone Sanders-Townsend

Author, seasoned democratic strategist and host on of SYMONE on MSNBC and MSNBC on Peacock

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Symone Sanders-Townsend
Keynote Speaker

Symone Sanders-Townsend is an author, seasoned democratic strategist and host of SYMONE on MSNBC and MSNBC on Peacock. Symone rose to prominence in 2016 as the national press secretary for U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’s then-presidential campaign. At 25, she became the youngest presidential press secretary on record and was named to Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of 16 young Americans shaping the 2016 election. At 29, she published her first book, No, You Shut Up: Speaking Truth to Power and Reclaiming America and served as a senior advisor for President Joe Biden's 2020 presidential campaign. At 31, Symone was appointed as a senior member of the Biden-Harris administration serving as Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor and Chief Spokesperson to Vice President Kamala Harris.

Now, at 33, Symone’s namesake show provides essential context on the most pressing issues facing Americans today and creates the discourse missing in the media.

A communicator with a passion for problem solving and social justice, Symone served as the national chair of the Coalition of Juvenile Justice Emerging Leaders Committee and a member of the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice before joining Senator Sanders’s campaign. There, she worked to raise the profile of young voices in the fight for juvenile justice reform and brought millennial perspectives to policy conversations. Prior to joining the Biden-Harris administration, Symone owned her own consulting firm where she helped clients find sound solutions to tough political and social problems.

Symone is a former political commentator for CNN and resident fellow of both Harvard's Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School and the University of Southern California's Center for the Political Future. She is a native of North Omaha, Nebraska and currently resides in Washington, D.C. with her husband, Shawn.

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2023 Master of Ceremonies

Joshua Cole

Raised in our community, Joshua Cole served as a state Delegate representing the Fredericksburg area in the General Assembly. He is a local pastor, husband and father of two. Josh’s faith and commitment to service guided him as a delegate in bringing back historic investments in our schools, public safety, transportation infrastructure and better access to quality affordable healthcare. Now, he is running in HD-65 to fight for abortion rights and build an economy that works for all Virginians. House District 65 encompasses Fredericksburg City and parts of Stafford County and Spotsylvania County. 

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2023 NAACP Arlington Branch Awards

More details about these awards and the people who inspired them

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Annual Scholarship Sponsors

Award Descriptions

Willard W. "Woody" Brittain Community Appreciation Award

(individual or group/organization)
2023 Recipients: Black Heritage Museum of Arlington & Restorative Arlington

The Willard W. Brittain Community Appreciation Award was renamed in 2013 to honor Mr. Willard Woodson “Woody” Brittain for his many contributions to the corporate world and the Arlington community. This award is given to an individual who lives or works in Arlington, or a group/organization that has established/maintained a business within Arlington County and, through their actions and service, has contributed many hours of their time towards the betterment of Arlington County and its residents. 

Charles P. Monroe Civil Rights Award

(individual or group/organization)
2023 Recipient: VOICE Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement, Arlington, Virginia
The Charles P. Monroe Civil Rights Award honors the former County Board Chairman, Charles P. Monroe. He was a community activist engaged in increasing public participation in County government and politics. He was also an advocate for affordable housing and other issues affecting the financially disadvantaged. This award is granted to an individual or group/organization that has advocated for the civil rights of those living in Arlington County.

Henry L. Holmes Meritorious Service Award

(individual or group/organization)
2023 Recipient: Mr. Antone Jacobs, Native of Green Valley and Proprietary Owner of BBQ-at-its-Best

The Henry L. Holmes Meritorious Service Award was renamed in 2012 to honor Henry L. Holmes, the first African American elected official in Arlington. Mr. Holmes served as the Commissioner of Revenue for Arlington County from 1876 to 1903, 27 years without interruption. In addition, he was the first Worshipful Master of Arlington Lodge #58. This is awarded to an individual or group/organization that has supported the Branch, the Annual Freedom Fund Banquet, and the Arlington community for more than two years.

Esther Georgia Irving Cooper Civil Rights Activist of the Year Award

(individual or group/organization)
2023 Recipient: Ms. Pamela Pinnock, for her work over a decade leading A.C.T.O.R., A Continuing Talk on Race.  You can take part in an A.C.T.O.R. talk in person October 29, 2023.
The Esther Georgia Irving Cooper Civil Rights Activist of the Year Award is named after the first president of NAACP Arlington Branch. A powerful advocate to improve educational opportunities for African American children in Virginia, her efforts led to Carter v. School Board of Arlington County (1950), in which the courts ruled that separate high schools constituted unlawful racial discrimination. As Branch president Cooper supported initiatives to abolish the poll tax and protested segregation on public transportation and in public facilities. She retired as president of the Branch in 1951 but remained active as president emerita. The nominee is one who aids in the development of legislation or implementation of civil rights policies to “secure the political, educational, social, or economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons” within the Arlington community.

NAACP Arlington Branch President's Award

(individual or group/organization)

The NAACP Arlington Branch President’s Award is a distinguished honor given to an individual or group/organization that is “actively challenging others to embrace diversity and ensure greater opportunity for all people.” Granted at the discretion of the Branch President. 


Contributions or gifts to this NAACP branch are not deductible as a charitable contribution for Federal Income tax purposes. However, organizations that purchase ads, sponsorships, or tickets for business purposes, may be able to deduct these expenses as a business expense.

NAACP Vision

We envision an inclusive community rooted in liberation where all persons can exercise their civil and human rights without discrimination. We are committed to a world without racism where Black people enjoy equitable opportunities in thriving communities.